This past weekend, I sat in a coffee shop to write my very overdue story. It was a quaint, independently owned business where the workers and music had a distinct alternative vibe. (Totally my zone) Reclaimed wood, tin ceilings, fairy lights and cozy nooks surrounded me. There was even a fireplace, fully aglow, despite it being an almost 90-degree day. This should have been the perfect environment for writing, but I sat with zero thoughts coming into my brain. NOTHING. NADA. ZILCH.
I had already been on a two-hour, early morning drive to and from my youngest daughter’s softball tournament. I was only at the coffee shop because I needed somewhere to write following much procrastination, and after coming home to drive my older daughter 30 minutes away for a two-hour driving lesson. NOTHING IN MY BRAIN WOULD WORK. My story had initially been due at the beginning of this month, but I had been sidelined by “the virus which we shall not mention.” (I don’t want the Facebook police coming at me) I am not going to lie but I was relieved to put off my writing, because it has been a while since I have been able to gather my thoughts to create a cohesive and amusing story. I’m supposed to be Sarcastic Momma, yet all I feel are negative, angry, and disjointed thoughts lately. I seem to have so many half stories with no meaningful points or logical conclusion.
I have been incapable of being funny in any way. (In person I am a riot. On paper lately….not so much) I used to have so many ideas. The stories just flowed. Most recently, I would begin many stories, only to abandon them midway through, because my topic would have inevitably pissed someone off. The stories I have been considering really had more of an angry tirade feel, with no purpose other than to be a sneaky bitch attack on people who have been frustrating me or hurting my children. I knew that becoming a public writer would have negative aspects to it and this was exactly why I always avoided trying my hand at it in the past. When I embarked on this journey with The Daily Feels, I promised myself that sometimes people would disagree with me and that it would be O.K. For most of my lifetime, I had been holding back and trying desperately to appease those around me. I would attempt to mold myself into whatever I assumed others expected of me. I came into writing my blogs at a point in my life where I needed to just use my voice. I was screaming on the inside because I had pushed so much down and was not being my authentic self. I was done.
I wanted to be authentic, but my intention was never to hurt anyone and be reckless with my words. Despite my careful consideration, I would sometimes not realize the impact of how someone might interpret or react to what I was saying. My first few stories DID create some upset and a few people contacted me thinking somehow I was speaking specifically about them when I wasn’t at all. Some people KNEW that I was talking about them. In a few instances, my interpretation had been wrong, and I had to apologize. In some instances, I wouldn’t even realize I was wrong until much later. Some of my writings were quite cathartic. I was able to let go of things that had previously weighed me down. Some messages that I received after a story was released, were quite positive, with many people telling me that I had inspired them or that they knew someone who could be helped by my perspective. I had truly hoped that by sharing some of my own struggles and insight that I would be helping others who were having similar difficulties. When an old friend contacted me asking to share one of my stores with a student of his, I was elated because he felt that my point of view would help her get through a challenging time.
By putting myself and my thoughts “out there,” I knew that negative feedback would also be a risk. I was finally allowing myself to let go of fear over what people would think of me. Love me or hate me…..I was content with either emotion because it would help me weed out the ones who didn’t deserve my time and energy. If you don’t know what I am truly about, then goodbye to you! I might say it so cavalier, but it hurts when someone misinterprets your meaning and places negative intent where there was none. That has always hurt and will never be easy. I continued to remind myself that people who genuinely cared for me, knew what I was all about and saw my true intent in any story. I was sick of hiding. I was sick of swallowing my own words and feelings. This was absolutely freeing for me, but a problem would develop that I had never anticipated. As my children grew older and became more active with social media, my words could harm their relationships. I had made my choice. Had my kids fully consented to this in a way that they understood?
My kids would often request to have their stories told and often asked me to cover funny memories from when they were small, or certain things with which they were currently struggling. I certainly never wrote about anything related to them without their knowledge. They felt great having a voice, and I was helping them to learn to speak up for themselves at an early age. At least that is what I told myself. I especially felt that for my girls, I was modeling what it is to be a woman standing up for herself and speaking her truth. Now I am not so sure. Teaching my kids to find their voice and to stand confident in their beliefs is important to me but that doesn’t need to be tackled publicly via social media. I have been finding myself posting less about them on Facebook, even when I am super proud of them and want to scream their accomplishments, because I just don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone.
Honestly, my daughter doesn’t agree with me and was recently bothered when I didn’t post about her success at dance competitions this year…….because, if it isn’t on social media, it obviously never happened. After a difficult and toxic season last year, we moved to a new studio this year. She didn’t want people from the old studio to think that she hasn’t managed to be successful this year. My daughter has been MORE successful this year and the level of competition has been higher than anything she has experienced before. I now find myself believing that silence is sometimes the best road to take with people. I know what I am about. I know what my kids are about. We are by no means perfect, but we are good people. We don’t need to constantly advertise our success to make it real. If my kids feel accomplished and happy from within, that is all that matters.
I am certain that my kids will continue to boast their own accomplishments via social media. I would never stop them because it really is such a way of life now and they can make that choice for themselves. However, I won’t be the one to broadcast them to the world now that they are older. I no longer wish to share my children’s stories. I no longer wish to share my stories. Maybe…in the future…if the stories once again flowed freely, I would love to be a guest blogger. It is with a bit of sadness that I must now take a hiatus from writing for The Daily Feels. It’s been real people. I have loved this experience. Peace out.